Organic is committed to creating the first all organic county in the
nation; a county that acknowledges the inter-relationship between food
production, environmental health and human health, social justice and
the economic viability of small farms and ranches.
By maintaining organic integrity and going beyond the federal organic
standards, Marin Organic presents a model of sustainable food production
which guarantees a healthy future for the environment, local food producers,
and county residents. By helping Marin County become the first all organic
county in the nation, Marin Organic is addressing the following four areas:
- Environmental - All Marin Organic members are certified
organic. Using the national organic standards as a baseline, Marin
Organic growers go beyond the National Organic Program to continuously
improve their production practices. Some of their efforts include
watershed restoration efforts which have resulted in the return of
the Coho Salmon to Marin, implementing alternative energy sources,
and enhancing biodiversity on the farm.
- Economic – The number of consumers demanding
tasty, locally grown, organic products increases every week. The Marin
Organic label makes it easy to find them, thus insuring the economic
viability of Marin County’s farms and ranches.
- Social – Local organic food production feeds
and supports not only the local infrastructure directly connected
to farming, but many other small businesses as well. This ultimately
contributes to the overall health and wealth of the county because
a dollar spent in a community circulates an average of 7 more times
before it leaves that community. In addition, Marin Organic carries
out socially-oriented projects such as our Organic School Lunch and Gleaning Program
and CSA (box program) in low income neighborhoods.
- Political – Marin County is fortunate enough
to have a Board of Supervisors (and other local governmental agencies)
who wholeheartedly embrace local and organic agriculture through policies
that protect it and direct financial support. This is in large part
due to the dedication and commitment of local advocates such as Ellen
Straus who co-founded Marin Agricultural Land Trust and Warren Weber,
owner of Star Route Farms in Bolinas, the oldest continuously certified
organic farm in California who, for years were in the forefront of
both the agricultural and environmental movements. Ellen and Warren’s
efforts laid the groundwork for the political decision makers of today
who now value and protect our precious agricultural heritage.